By Chris Meehan
The word of the Lord can change your life, even if it comes in question form.
“What would God have you do if you weren’t too afraid to do it?,” asked Jeanne DeCelles (South Bend), speaking at the Buffalo branch women’s retreat in 2002.
The question rattled around in Arlene Meyerhofer’s (Buffalo) mind. She suspected that the Lord was trying to tell her something. “Please, Lord, don’t be subtle!,” she prayed.
She didn’t have to wait long. “When I arrived home from the retreat,” Arlene remembers, “I found my fifth-grade daughter Pamela with a piece of paper in each hand. She had spent the weekend working on lists of reasons to be homeschooled and reasons to stay in school. As the tears welled up, she said, ‘Mommy, see how much bigger the homeschool list is? I just want to learn! Won’t you please pray about homeschooling me?’”
Arlene didn’t know anyone in her area who homeschooled and “the thought of taking responsibility for my child’s future like that terrified me!” But that question from the retreat helped her overcome these fears. She and her husband George talked things over and decided Arlene would begin teaching their daughter.
Plenty of new possibilities flowed from the decision. Pamela did chores one day a week at a riding stable in exchange for horseback riding lessons. She had more time for violin lessons, for Scottish country dancing, art lessons and service projects, too. Arlene also began homeschooling her son George, who enjoyed it so much he passed up a scholarship to a nearby private high school to remain in home school. “I worried that my children would lack social confidence if I homeschooled them, but Pamela recently spoke in front of seven different organizations,” Arlene says. To top things off, this spring Pamela was accepted into the honors program at Ohio’s Xavier University.
“The decision to homeschool was a turning point for our family,” Arlene says. “But without that word I would have been too afraid to undertake the task.”